Track vSAN Memory Consumption in vSAN 7

One of the most common requests in relation to vSAN performance is how much CPU and memory does vSAN actually consume on an ESXi host, i.e. what is the overhead of running vSAN. Through the vSAN Performance Service, we have been able to show both host and vSAN CPU usage for some time. However, up to now, we have only been able to show host memory usage, and not overhead attributed to vSAN. It has also been extremely difficult to determine how much memory vSAN required.  Way back in 2014, with the first vSAN version 5.5 release, I wrote this…

Native File Services for vSAN 7

On March 10th 2020, we saw a plethora of VMware announcements around vSphere 7.0, vSAN 7.0, VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 and of course the Tanzu portfolio. The majority of these announcements tie in very deeply with the overall VMware company vision which is any application on any cloud on any device. Those applications have traditionally been virtualized applications. Now we are turning our attention to newer, modern applications which are predominantly container based, and predominantly run on Kubernetes. Our aim is to build a platform which can build, run, manage, connect and protect both traditional virtualized applications and modern containerized…

Getting started with VCF Part 11 – External Storage

I got an interesting question recently on my VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) blog series. An observation was made that all of my posts highlighted vSAN as the storage for both the management domain and the workload domains. The question was whether other types of storage could be used in VCF. While we would always promote vSAN as the primary storage for VCF, the answer is yes, other storage types can be used. But I need to qualify this statement. The management domain always uses vSAN. This is automatically configured during the bring up process of the management domain and provides…

Getting Started with VCF Part 6 – Workload Domain

The VMware Cloud Foundation 3.9 journey continues. In this post, we are going to build our very first workload domain (WLD). In part 5, we commissioned 3 x vSphere 6.7U3 ESXi hosts that will form the basis of our new WLD. A number of actions will take place during this deployment. Firstly, a new 6.7 vCenter Server will be deployed in the management domain. Then, the 3 commissioned ESXi hosts will be clustered together, allowing vSAN and vSphere HA to be enabled. We will also see NSX-T (version 2.5) deployed for the WLD as I am going to deploy NSX-T…

First Class Disks/Improved Virtual Disks revisited

I have been receiving a number of queries lately with regards to First Class Disks (FCD) on vSphere, also referred to as Improved Virtual Disks (IVD). Some time back, I wrote a primer on FCDs and more recently I wrote about Safekeeper, a tool for interacting with FCDs which is available on GitHub as OpenSource. This may be why there has been an increase in awareness and I am seeing more questions about FCDs. In this post, I want to address some of the most common FCD/IVD questions that I have received to date. Feel free to leave comments if…

Getting started with VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF)

After returning from the holidays, one of the items at the top of my agenda was to become more familiarity with VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). For those of you who are not familiar with VCF, it is basically the ‘easy button’ for deploying the full vSphere stack of products, including virtual storage (vSAN), virtual networking (NSX) as well as monitoring and logging products such as vRealize Operation, vRealize Log Insight and so on. However, it is so much more, because once VCF is stood up, it becomes the building block for the deployment of what could be termed the application…

Using Host Groups with Availability Zones (AZs) in Enterprise PKS

After being asked about how vSphere Host Groups worked with Availability Zones in Enterprise PKS earlier this week, I decided to spend a little time setting it up in my lab and doing some testing to make sure I could understand the feature and its behaviour. Essentially what this feature allows you to do is to make use of the vSphere Host Group feature to group a bunch of ESXi hosts together. Then as one builds Availability Zones (commonly referred to AZs) in Enterprise PKS, a Host Group can be associated with an AZ. Anything that Enterprise PKS deploys to…